Image source Read more on interviews with leaders that harnessed social media:
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- Grace Victory: Business learnings from a social media superstar
- The “baby” of eBay and Instagram: How Depop married ecommerce and social media
“When I pitched originally, I showed SB.TV and what it was. It’s funny because I’ve seen it grow to what it is now – it’s huge. Then, it was just me pitching the business, what my aims and ambitions were, to an audience. It was fun and surreal; a good experience. Now it’s a £1m prize, it’s crazy,” he added.The young entrepreneur needn’t worry about that prize money these days, however, as his worth was pegged at £8m last year. Discussing what’s going to bring in future revenue by revealing plans for his company, Edwards detailed: “I want to feature well-known artists and also up-and-coming artists, and keep building the platform. “Personally I’ve started doing more A&R, bringing people together and creating tracks. I want to start pushing that out and branching over to the States.” He mentioned part of that US focus was taking SB.TV to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas this year, where film, music and media collide – the ideal stomping ground for the brand – and called the experience “great fun”. The UK’s grime music scene (think of it as British rap), which started over a decade ago, has seen a huge resurgence in the past couple of years to break through from the underground to a more mainstream audience. Edwards described the movement as a virtuous circle. “As grime gets big, SB.TV gets bigger. As SB.TV gets big, grime gets bigger. I did the first SXSW showcase this year in Austin, Texas, which was great fun. All it [grime and SB.TV] will keep doing is growing,” he said. That in itself is a lesson that can be absorbed by any leader. Embrace and support the market around you and it could have a similar nurturing effect on your business.
He said that his journey from the early idea to growing business has meant learning the importance of VAT and taxes, as well as how to effectively build a team. But closing with words of wisdom, he offered this – stay hungry. “Don’t think of all of your oomph moments – carry on building a brand with different formats and ideas,” he said. For him, that means “staying on the pulse of artists and chasing viewership of the channel.” “The most important thing I’ve learnt is not to lose focus too much. Sometimes when you’re doing 101 things, you forget what got you started. Me filming people is how I started. I do it every now and again, but I want to focus back on that more because that’s got me where I am today.” With a burgeoning enterprise, one that will host a live festival-esque event in London this summer, Richard Branson in his phone book and access to the Royal Family, where Edwards is today isn’t a bad place at all. By Zen Terrelonge
Jamal Edwards MBE. pic.twitter.com/wSKthO20gf— Jamal Edwards MBE (@jamaledwards) March 26, 2015
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